Things I liked in 2012
I had plans to write a big extensive wrapup review of things I really enjoyed in 2012. The specific plan was to write that before the end of 2012. Oops. In the interest of getting it posted in a somewhat relevant timeframe, here’s an abbreviated version. Note that not everything here was released in 2012, but it was the year I encountered them:
The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi, is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. Listed as a young adult title, there’s deep insights here for adults too. It’s got deep insights into the nature of war and the cycle of violence it involves. Bacigalupi excels at writing about terrible things in an extremely compelling manner.
The Magician King lets the characters from The Magicians grow up a bit, and the result is characters I found much less frustrating than in the series’ previous book.
Saga is my new favorite comic book series. It’s space opera and fantasy and a whole lotta (sometimes graphic) weirdness in one package. Brian K. Vaughan continues to be a must-read writer for me.
Hawkeye is a bunch of fun too, though more focused on small contained story arcs. As the book describes itself, these are the adventures Hawkeye gets into when he’s not being an Avenger. The minimalist covers push some nice buttons for me too.
The new Ben Folds Five album is everything I hoped it would be! I also spent a bunch of time listening to Gotye and Of Monsters and Men.
I didn’t play as many video games this year as I have in the past, but the best two were Mass Effect 3 and The Walking Dead. ME3 was an excellent capstone to the trilogy, and The Walking Dead gets a gold star for forcing some truly intense player decisions while building one of the best-written stories I’ve seen in a game.
I think about the cliffhanger at the end of Sherlock season 2 at least once a week, while for comedy nothing beats Parks & Recreation.